The Ouachita Christian Eagles won't have the opportunity to defend their 2019 state championship. But the Eagles can certainly make it two championships in a row on Friday after the No. 1 Eagles' 3-0 victory against No. 5 Catholic - Pointe Coupee.
Jacob White pitched a gem in a complete effort. White threw just 92 pitches and allowed only three hits while striking out eight in the shutout victory.
"I don't know what to say about Jacob White," OCS head coach John Parker said. "He controlled the strike zone all day long. He threw all three pitches for strikes. He made big pitches when he needed to make big pitches. He pitched to contact, and our defense played flawlessly today. He turned in the best performance of his career in the state semifinal game for us to play for a state championship."
Catholic's Aiden Vosburg's effort on the mound made it a highly competitive pitcher's duel in Sulphur.
The dueling pitchers were moving swiftly through the game until White ran into a bit of trouble in the third. A hit batsman followed by a walk loaded two runners with no outs. Then a line drive smoked right to shortstop Connor Mulhern nearly transformed into a triple play. Mulhern caught the heat seeker and stepped on second base before throwing over to first base. Mulhern settled for the unassisted double play, though, as Catholic Point Coupee’s base runner was able retreat safely back to first.
Carter Volion and Landon Graves recorded back-to-back singles to start the third. Mulhern was hit by a pitch on the very next at bat, loading the bases with no outs.
Catholic’s Aiden Vosburg recorded back-to-back strikeouts followed by a grounder to get out of the inning unscathed, though.
White’s fourth strikeout of the game came in the fifth, stranding a base runner for the Hornets after Catholic – Pointe Coupee secured its second hit of the ballgame.
The Eagles broke through in the fifth. Graves laid down a bunt and reached first as an errant throw allowed Volion, who reached earlier in the inning with a walk, to round third and score the first run of the ballgame. Jon Michael Cader then knocked in Graves with a stand-up double to extend the Eagles lead to 2-0.
Noah Lovelady scored on Cal Idom’s sacrifice fly to add an insurance run in the sixth inning.
"We had base runners on during the early innings, but we just couldn't get that first hit," Parker said. "We were able to push a couple runs across there in the fifth to break through. And we had some big time hits. Jon Michael Cader had a big time hit, and Cal Idom came off the bench with a big sacrifice fly."
Casey Cobb recorded the first hit for the Eagles in the second inning with a double, and Volion and Graves each recorded two hits in the win.
OCS will play No. 7 Opelousas Catholic for the Division IV State Championship at 2 p.m. Friday.